The company was founded in 2018 by Greek civil engineer Christie Raptaki and on the eve of International Women’s Day (Tuesday 8th March) she is a true inspiration to all women in business.
The story of how she founded the company is extraordinary. While pregnant with her daughter Alfie she hit a deep pothole in Tottenham Court Road and was taken to the A&E department at the local hospital. Thankfully, mother and baby were fine but out of that came the idea to repair potholes and now, lay whole roads, substituting bitumen with plastic waste materials and a graphene solution is in research and development.
Roadfill® is currently working with universities across the UK including Cambridge, Exeter, Edinburgh and Greenwich to develop more products.
The company has been funded by the European Union Funding Scheme and Late last year it completed a successful crowd funding raise of over £600,000. And Roadfill® was awarded as “Most Innovative Road Repair Solutions – London” in the Build 2021 Eco Excellence Awards.
Its products are now being specified by government departments, highway authorities and private contractors around the UK, including Colas, Tarmac and Toppesfield, and it is expanding into Greece, Sweden and South Korea.
Raptaki, says: “Roadfill® is one of the pioneers in helping to use plastic in an environmentally and innovative way to help solve the problem of plastic waste, reduce landfill waste, reduce CO₂ emissions and save substantial sums of money for government and local authority highway budgets.
“We will be using The EpiCentre in Haverhill for research and development using its laboratory facilities and taking an office as our new international headquarters.”
Raptaki’s support for International Woman’s Day is driven by her determination to succeed with Roadfill® that was started in her spare room at home, and the challenges she had along the way.
She recalls how she had been invited to speak at the Highways UK exhibition in Birmingham but had no one to look after her baby so brought her in a sling. Initially she was prevented from entering the exhibition hall but with huge determination she managed to persuade the authorities to let her in and give her talk with baby in tow. “Being a woman to me in business is not weak it is like being a superpower and you can do things with it,” Raptaki comments. “I don’t like it that women are still in a minority in business, and I can’t believe that in 2022 we are still talking about how one can introduce more women into construction.”
While developing her main Roadfill ® business, Raptaki is also working on another business called Yellow Kiosk to develop an App to facilitate smoother and more cost effective interior design and construction for both customers and interior designers.
The number of companies looking at The EpiCentre as a possible home is growing by the week and includes both life sciences businesses and more mainstream enterprises. The EpiCentre’s appeal lies in the fact that there are no huge financial commitments. Rolling monthly contracts means companies are not tied in for years and can adjust space requirements to their immediate business needs. There are office rooms of all sizes, together with hot desks and co-working spaces that are all COVID-safe and its own café Cool Beans. And where The EpiCentre scores over traditional workplaces is that it gives support to those enterprises that that need guidance in scaling up their businesses.